A publication of the Horry County Historical Society, Horry County, SC In 1916
By Saundra Lockhart Parler 2017-06-12
July 14, 1916, the fourth hurricane of the season made landfall near Charleston, South Carolina, as a strong category 2 storm with winds peaking at 115 miles per hour. Seven deaths were reported in South Carolina as well as $100,000 worth of damage and the destruction of three textile communities in the upstate due to flooding. Strong wind and torrential rain started about midnight and lasted through the morning. At Myrtle Beach the ocean came close to entering cottages, blew out windows of an ocean front hotel, turned outhouses over, uprooted trees, and destroyed crops of corn, tobacco, and cotton. Some of the corn may have been new varieties grown in Horry County as a part of a program initiated by Clemson Extension Agency. The storm brought even more devastation to North Carolina as eighty individuals lost their lives and damage was estimated to be between 15-20 million dollars.
August 1, tobacco markets opened in Conway, Loris, and Aynor. Tobacco that had been gathered and cured before the storm brought a premium of sixty cents a pound. That day a total of 125,000 pounds of tobacco were sold in Conway; 65,000 in Aynor; and 75,000 in Loris. The lowest grade of sand lugs, the lowest growing tobacco leaves, sold for four cents a pound.
Horry County was one of the fastest growing counties. From January through October, 1915, Horry reported 343 deaths and 1026 births.
State Superintendent of Education J. E. Swearingen recognized the inequality of education throughout the state, especially in pupil funding. Statewide the average expenditure per pupil was $17.02. Only Horry, Colleton, and Oconee spent less than $10 per pupil. Teaching agriculture in public schools was begun in 1916 when the State legislature passed the Toole act, which was based on an experimental agricultural program in Darlington.
The Democratic convention of Horry County met May 1, and overwhelmingly pledged to vote for Woodrow Wilson for President. They elected E. J. Sherwood county chairman, maintained J. A. Lewis as vice chairman, and reelected J. A. McDermotte as a member of the State executive committee.
A sad story was reported about a well-known citizen of Loris, H. H. Grainger, about sixty years old, and father of many children, who was struck by a train near Roseland, North Carolina, July 13, 1916. He left Loris by train early Tuesday morning for a business meeting in Roseland and planned to return later the same day. Tuesday night he stood on the tracks near Roseland to wave down the train, not realizing he was standing a short distance from a sharp curve. When the light on the train exposed the man, the engineer braked, but sadly not in time. Grainger died instantly when he was blown off the tracks.